First off, this is the first time I have typed an official response to a blog post: "Dear health IT: Please understand our frustrations."  You might think, hey aren’t you a millennial, shouldn’t you be blogging non-stop?  Like doing everything from my taxes to baking with my smartphone?  No, not really; besides residency doesn’t make it very feasible either. Yet, the need to respond to Dr. Leap’s blog post was ...

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Remember the Latin phrase “Primum non nocere”? It means “First, do no harm.” Most of us physicians committed to it when reciting the Hippocratic Oath, back when we were first embarking on our careers in medicine. Sadly, today’s technology threatens this sacred physician-patient relationship. Electronic health records (EHRs), although much-needed, have created perverse, unintended consequences for the patient experience. To be clear, EHRs are inherently good.  They’re the backbone of better-coordinated care, ...

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It has been quite a year.  Between 3 main hospitals, 2 major medical institutions and 3 major healthcare networks, our practice has been on 3 different echocardiographic reading platforms, 3 ECG reading platforms, and 8 different electronic health record systems including 4 instances of Epic alone. I am typically enthusiastic to a fault about new technologies and, time after time, have rushed in, often where angels feared to tread.  I ...

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shutterstock_116767843 Meaningful. Having a serious, important, or useful quality. You know this word because you want it to define your life. Nearly all of us, at some point, will seek a more meaningful existence. Most wish our jobs were that way too. Meaningless. Having no purpose or reason. Ouch. We don’t want anything to do with that. Meaningless makes us question what in the ...

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shutterstock_140188489 Dear health IT staff, I know that, on many levels, physicians must be the absolute banes of your existence.  We are grumpy and resistant to change. And some of us are still confused by graphing calculators, much less complex modern computer systems.  We call you because we forgot our passwords, then because we forgot the new passwords.  We call because the system ...

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Of the nearly 100 people I interviewed for my upcoming book, John Halmaka was one of the most fascinating. Halamka is CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a national leader in health IT policy. He also runs a family farm, on which he raises ducks, alpacas and llamas. His penchant for black mock turtlenecks, along with his brilliance and quirkiness, raise inevitable comparisons to Steve Jobs. I interviewed him ...

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shutterstock_136890005 gomerblogCiting slow load times, confusing menu structure, and overall frustration with the user interface, St. Barnaby’s Hospital has announced that the old electronic health record (EHR) will be replaced with a new state of the art binder-based system, in which a so-called “paper chart” is kept for each patient. The new ...

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Most readers know that an EMR (electronic medical record) is the back-end software that runs a health care organization. EMRs have been around for a while. Recently most large hospitals and health systems have begun building out the patient-facing version of their EMR; allowing patients to communicate electronically with their doctors, refill prescriptions, schedule appointments, and view clinical information. I’ve written at length about the differences between B2B software and B2C ...

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I think it’s fair to say that digital health is warming up. And not just in one area. The sheer number and variety of trends are almost as impressive as the heat trajectory itself. The scientist in me can’t help but make the connection to water molecules in a glass -- there may be many of them, but not all have enough kinetic energy to ascend beyond their liquid state. ...

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Happy 2015! Health care in the United States continues to change faster than any of us can keep pace with and this shows no signs of slowing down. Having written a lot in 2014 on a variety of different topics, I wanted to focus on my own 5 wishes for hospital care this New Year. A lot of you may think that what you’re about to read sounds like wishful ...

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